When is Customer Experience Bad for Business?


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Most people would consider the majority of their customers their core customers or the customers they have to please.

The problem with this type of thinking is that the vast majority of your customers actually prevent you from moving ahead and innovating.

People don’t like change. Placating to the demands of the majority of users alienates the real core customer group, the early adopters who really help define your service and encourage you to innovate with your solution.

Facebook is currently in the middle of a tug of war and their customer experience is at the center of it all.

Facebook recently scrapped its plans to introduce a new design for its news feed. Facebook’s product design director, Julie Zhou claims that this is being done because it was a concern for the experience of customers using Facebook older computers.

For those on lesser machines, the site was harder to use than the current design. “These people may not be early adopters or use the same hardware we do, but the quality of their experience matters just as much.”

Facebook can’t innovate on design because of its huge install base

If this is really the reason, then this signifies the beginning of the end for Facebook. No, there won’t be a massive crash. Facebook won’t be forgotten a year from now, they’re too integrated into daily routines for far too many people. The real question really is: when did netbook users and people on old computer become Facebook’s core customers they wanted to target?

Facebook has come a long way from its early days of a college gossip sharing site. The problem is that in its success, it’s now locked into maintaining the status quo for a large segment of users that is holding the company back from continuing to innovate how social sharing and connecting can be done.

Facebook today can’t redesign it’s site in a modern, more practical way that will appeal to its early adopters and the potential Facebook users of 2017 because it’s being held back by the large segments of non-innovative users on its site today.

If Apple designed a phone based on cell phone users of the early 2000′s we’d all be rocking Motorola Razrs and no one would have heard of the iPhone.

Customers are terrible innovators

There’s a fine line between customer focused and customer hampered. Facebook is dangerously close to that right now. I frequently remind my colleagues and customer service experts that it’s our responsibility as product and service providers to innovate and then use customers to fine tune the solution to meet their needs. Customers are fantastic product tuners, but terrible innovators.

If we want to continue deliver the type of customer experience that customers care about, it takes more than just solving customer problems today. We need to look to what customers will experience and want to do tomorrow, then work to make that happen today.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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